“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

Are Polar Bears Really Endangered?

Christina Wu at the Urban Times (July 3, 2014) recently asked this question. She came up with a surprisingly balanced argument but some predictable responses from IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) biologists. As a consequence, she overlooked some critical facts that make a big difference to the answer.

Figure 1. Are polar bears really endangered? The US Fish and Wildlife Service thinks so, but only because Steven Amstrup, based on a computer model projecting sea ice out to 2050, said so (Amstrup et al. 2007). This information has been used by the Center for Biological Diversity and other NGOs, like WWF and Polar Bears International (where Amstrup is now employed), to solicit donations.

Figure 1. Predictions of polar bear population declines by 2050 are being used by the Center for Biological Diversity, WWF and Polar Bears International to solicit donations.

Wu stated that, for the populations for which we have numbers (see my discussion here), polar bear populations have been increasing overall since the 1970s. She then asked:

“So if polar bear populations are increasing, what’s all the fuss about?”

The Sky Fell last month, but almost nobody noticed

cartoon cry wolfThe sky fell on Hawaii last month, all because carbon dioxide levels peeped above the much-hyped 400 ppm hurdle. Chicken Littles all over the world squawked into their friendly media megaphones about numerous imminent global warming disasters. One warned: “the fate of the world hangs in the balance.” (Similar alarms were rung when the 350 ppm level was passed).

But nobody else noticed anything scary.

Four pieces of well-established evidence say that 400 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not a concern.

Firstly, there has been no increase in global temperatures since 1998 despite 16 years of rising carbon dioxide levels and heavy usage of carbon fuels. Clearly, CO2 is not the main driver of global temperatures.

Heartland Institute Conference: CO2 Rise Increases Biodiversity, Crop Yields

wheatAccording to The Economist, The Heartland Institute is “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.” On Wednesday, several scientists gathered at the institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate change to address a variety of issues including the biological effects of increased CO2 on the planet due to human activity.

Dr. Craig Idso, the founder, former president, and current chairman of the board of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, provided a plethora of information on exactly how CO2 affects the environment. Global warming alarmists should be comforted that they have a lot more to be happy about and should not be fretting that global catastrophe is knocking at the door.

Are A Few Journalists Starting to Figure It Out?

no free speechLooks like maybe a few journalists are starting to resent being the palace guard for Obama.

Yesterday a group of journalists transmitted the following letter to the White House, reproduced here in full but omitting all of the signatories at the bottom:

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C
July 8, 2014

Mr. President,

You recently expressed concern that frustration in the country is breeding cynicism about democratic government. You need look no further than your own administration for a major source of that frustration – politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies. We call on you to take a stand to stop the spin and let the sunshine in.

Over the past two decades, public agencies have increasingly prohibited staff from communicating with journalists unless they go through public affairs offices or through political appointees. This trend has been especially pronounced in the federal government. We consider these restrictions a form of censorship — an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear.

The Idiocy of "Environmental Justice"

EPAA news item in late June caught my eye. It was in the Washington Free Beacon and the headline was “EPA spends $1.6 million on hotel for ‘Environmental Justice’ conference.”

The event will occur in the fall and the location is the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.

By its own description, it is located “Just one mile from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, this Arlington hotel features a chic lobby and indoor swimming pool. Rooms come with 37’’ HDTVs and plug-in connectivity panels.” A room for one night will cost approximately $349. The EPA is booking 195 of them for 24 nights!

The environmental movement began as the conservation movement. Its early leaders were concerned about preserving our great forests and other landmarks. President Teddy Roosevelt was enthusiastic about that and used his powers to initiate national parks and reserves. These days, however, Clinton and Obama used those same powers to close off access to vast energy reserves.

"Risky Business" debunked

riskybusinessOnce again, as H. L. Mencken warned, the Arizona Daily Star is trying to scare us with a front-page story saying that global warming will fry us. The story, by Tony Davis, is “Rising AZ temperatures make for hostile environment.” The lead line is “Thousands more Arizonans will likely die. Farmers’ crop yields will drop. Electricity bills will rise sharply, along with the use of air conditioning.”

This article is about a new report, “Risky Business” by a group of business leaders and politicians lead by former New York Mayor, Michael “Big Gulp” Bloomberg. The report is based upon a series of computer model projections about the climate. I have shown in a previous article “Global Temperature Continues Divergence from Model Predictions” that computer model projections diverge widely from reality.

Climate change 'hysteria' like a sci-fi movie, Coalition MP tells fellow sceptics

waterworldThe Coalition MP George Christensen has likened the “hysteria” of calls for action on climate change to a science fiction film, in a speech to a gathering of climate science sceptics in Las Vegas.

Christensen, the Liberal National party MP for the federal seat of Dawson, told the Heartland Institute conference that mainstream climate science was “a lot of fiction dressed up as science”.

Showing slides depicting scenes from Star Trek and the Kevin Costner film Waterworld, the MP said the climate change “major motion picture” was previously a “slasher-style horror flick as ever more graphic descriptions are used to scare people into submission”.

But now the plot had moved into a “farcical comedy as government and environmental terrorists make ridiculous suggestions about how mankind will control the planet”, Christensen said.

My Las Vegas Slide Show on the ‘Conservative’ Case for a Carbon Tax

Hookah smokingSo I’m here in Las Vegas, in beautiful Mandalay Bay Hotel, at Heartland Institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change. This morning I gave a Power Point presentation titled “Carbon Tax: A Conservative Idea Whose Time Has Come?”

A ‘conservative’ carbon tax is so loopy that at times I half believe it must be a passing fad, a bad joke, or a piece of blackboard econometric foppery rather than a grimly-determined political agenda.

But shortly after my presentation, a colleague forwarded an email he received from MIT’s Climate CoLab. The message begins:

FRIDAY: U.S. Carbon Price Webinar with former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former Members of Congress Bob Inglis and Phil Sharp. . . . The Webinar will consider “How could a national price on carbon be implemented in the United States?”

BBC in deep water over climate change censorship row

lawsonThe BBC is getting itself in a huge hole over its coverage of climate change - and it does not seem to see the need to stop digging.

The controversy is best highlighted by the BBC's decision to uphold a complaint against the Today programme for the appearance of climate change sceptic Lord Lawson to discuss the impact of climate on the recent floods.

A complaint against the World at One has also been partially upheld after an interview with a sceptical scientist Professor Bob Carter, head of the department of earth science at James Cook University.

Trudeau's carbon tax will hurt Canada's economy

happyplace"Carbon pricing" is simply a euphemism for "carbon tax."

When a politician talks about establishing a price on carbon in the name of stopping global warming (as federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau frequently does), what he really means is he wants to tax oil production, manufacturing and private vehicle use in the hope that by punishing energy companies, manufacturers and drivers he can force them to reduce their emissions.

However, no market exists for carbon emissions except where governments force companies to buy or sell "carbon credits." Therefore, there is no such thing as a natural "carbon price." The concept is entirely artificial.

BBC to Censor Scientists that Question Global Warming

Sorry Galileo, according to the BBC you're a crank.Sorry Galileo, according to the BBC you're a crank.In other news the BBC plans to ban Galileo since the consensus is that the sun revolves around the earth and anyone who disagrees with the consensus is just a crank who hates science.

The BBC Trust, which is the BBC’s governing body, published a new report on Thursday that says that Britain’s largest news organization has been giving “undue attention to marginal opinion” on certain controversial scientific issues, including man-made climate change.

To combat what it calls a “false balance” on the issue, the trust’s report called for more BBC staffers to attend courses and seminars to help them learn how to bring their programming in line with what the BBC Trust accepts as the consensus view.

How Orwellian.

Feds doubt climate change's impact on wolverines

WolverineYou really do have to appreciate the irony in this story. Maybe someone should email Obama this story. From Contra Costa Times (emphasis added):

A top federal wildlife official said there's too much uncertainty about climate change to prove it threatens the snow-loving wolverine — overruling agency scientists who warned of impending habitat loss for the "mountain devil."

There's no doubt the high-elevation range of wolverines is getting warmer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Noreen Walsh said. But any assumption about how that will change snowfall patterns is "speculation," she said.

The sun has got his hat on - break out the Bacofoil!

comicSo far, so typical. Last week spectators at Wimbledon were being treated for sunstroke as temperatures soared into the 80s.

On Saturday the heavens opened, as they usually do after a heatwave, soaking the motor racing at Silverstone and Henley Regatta.

By the end of this week, the Met Office is predicting it will be Phew, What A Scorcher! time again. It’s called the British summer.

Not according to the Government, it isn’t. Officially, we don’t have weather any more.

We have ‘climate change’, a catch-all excuse for everything from raising taxes and refusing to empty the bins to exploding manhole covers.

That’s right, exploding manhole covers. The Health and Safety Executive has warned pedestrians to be on the alert after a series of manhole cover explosions in London’s West End.

There have been 64 such incidents already this year, compared with just nine in 2011. ‘Experts’ blame the ‘wettest winter on record’ for rainwater damaging underground electric cables.

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